Chile Articles, Chapter 4

Reactions to an earthquake in northern Chile
What did the local Chileans do?
Probably just looked up at the swinging light for a moment just to double check it was in fact a quake and then went back to reading their facebook page at work.

What did the foreigners do?
Probably went pale, gripped their chair tightly and considered running out of the room screaming something nobody here would normally understand though which due to its tone can be universally translated along the lines of “I am scared shitless”.

For $100, A DIY Kit for Watching Roach Neurons
Over the past two years, Backyard Brains has been selling SpikerBox—a small, $100 gadget that lets you witness the neuronal activity of a roach’s leg…. Tim Marzullo, one of Backyard Brains’s co-founders, explains that the company began as a way to perform nervous-system and brain experiments in front of high school and college students at a low cost…. Backyard Brains has relied on sales of its machines and a grant from the National Institute of Health to fund the company. Of late, Marzullo finds himself in Chile, responding to government interest in the project….

People can purchase a completed kit, which has built-in transistors, resistors, capacitors, and electrodes to help capture and amplify the sound of the roach’s leg. Or they can purchase parts and assemble the kits themselves to learn about electronics in addition to neural circuitry. Hobbyists make up about 10 percent of the sales, high schools account for 20 percent, and the rest of the units have gone to colleges.

Plans to farm Patagonian toothfish in the extreme south of Chile
The University of Magallanes in the extreme south of Chile have developed an innovative project to start farming Patagonian toothfish or Chilean sea bass (Dissostichus eleginoides) in the region. With a budget equivalent to 1.1 million US dollars the promoters of the initiative expect that within ten years, private entrepreneurs will begin cultivating the species, said the aquaculture engineer Pablo Gallardo.

Currently, the main markets for Patagonian toothfish are the US and Asia. This fish is high in healthy omega fatty acids-3 and 6, and is being traded abroad at around 15 US dollars per kg, compared to the 4 US dollars paid for salmon.

The Economist discusses Salvador Allende 4 days after the 1973 coup d’etat
What happened in Santiago is not an everyday Latin American coup. The armed forces had tolerated Dr. Allende for nearly three years. In that time, he managed to plunge the country into the worst social and economic crisis in its modern history. The confiscation of private farms and factories caused an alarming slump in production, and the losses in state-run industries were officially admitted to have exceeded $1 billion last year.

Inflation rose to 350 per cent over the past twelve months. Small businessmen were bankrupted; civil servants and skilled workers saw their salaries whittled away by inflation; housewives had to queue endlessly for basic foods, when they were available at all. The mounting desperation caused the major strike movement that the truck-drivers started six weeks ago.

Related posts:
Chile Articles: Chapter 1
Chile Articles: Chapter 2
Chile Articles: Chapter 3

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